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Credit union awards $40,000 in teacher grants

Public school teachers recently were awarded more than $40,000 by Hawaii State Federal Credit Union through its 2019 Investing in Education grant program.

A total of 89 grants were distributed to public school teachers across Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Hawaii Island to help purchase classroom supplies and enhance student curriculums.

The grant recipients on Maui included: Leilani Abafo, Maui High School; Tai Baird, Paia Elementary School; Tricia Calhoon, Lahaina Intermediate School; Leanne Dunn, Makawao Elementary School; Jen Fordyce, Hawaii Technology Academy — Wailuku Campus; Maile Getzen, Kihei Charter High School; and Matthew Obrien, Lahainaluna High School.

“Hawaii State FCU’s Investing in Education grant program supports teachers by providing basic school supplies as well as providing new technology and educational tools,” said Andrew Rosen, president and CEO of Hawaii State FCU.

“Over the last decade, we’ve seen the need for supplies expand from books and smart boards to include interactive learning tools and kits for robotics competitions. We’re proud to continue our support for these selfless teachers and the academic success of our students.”

Applicants were asked to submit an essay stating the needs of their classrooms and how the funds will improve student learning.

This year, a third of the requests were for STEM-related projects, including robotics kits for clubs and competitions, as well as supplies to enhance science and math curricula.

Other requests ranged from materials to encourage more interactive learning opportunities for special education students, new books to create more diverse and robust student libraries, as well as instruments and new technology for music and digital media courses.

Grants were distributed statewide, with about 30 percent going to Leeward Oahu-area school teachers and nearly 20 percent going to Neighbor Island teachers located on Maui, Lanai and Hawaii Island.

Hawaii State FCU’s Investing in Education grant program has been funding Hawaii’s classrooms since 2009 and has dispersed more than 600 grants with a total value of more than $275,000.

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